Archive for the 'Eating/Health' Category

A culinary Knockout Punch: Mile End Review

Mile End delivers that culinary knockout-punch that so many New Yorkers crave but rarely get: Something superb yet unique in the foodies’ paradise that is this great city.

Great for Atkins' dieters...

That’s because the particular strain of Judaic fare filtered through the Canadian regional dialect which it plies is just plain hard to come by. (Apparently, its Montreal, specifically.)  Sure, in NYC you got yer Katzes and yer Carnegies and a whole nother’ legion of storied Jewish delis with their famous corned beef juggernauts… but they’re not working on quite the same canvas.

No, Mile End features luscious cured meats and an extravagantly decadent take on poutine (basically high-end French fries buried in high-end cheese) that for this diner, had a peculiar whiff of old school Heebery, the flavor of far-off Ashkenazi Judaism transported from some dusty, soulful past straight into modern-day Brooklyn.  As far as bygone semitic cookery goes, it’s more Berlin than LES, a big part of its novel charm.

SuperDuperKid is a big meat fan and (duh) also a fan of fries but as my fellow parents know, one slight nudge of a foreign flavor, one touch of sophistication and it can mean game over when it comes to the fragile eating habits of the young.

For Brooklyn kids... not so much for Kansas kids, maybe?

But helped along by the “micro-brewed” Virgil’s Black Cherry Cream sodas, he dove into the meaty fare with gusto that he maintained until the meal’s end.

Although there’s a tad of a possibility that a kid could be turned off by the novelty of it, chances are the sheer meat n’ potatoes power of it all will triumph in the end.

When you’re ready for a break from the burgers or mac n’ cheese and you’re in the mood for something a little different, try a taste of Jewish Montreal!

Official SuperDuperDad Yay or Nay Verdict:  Oy vey, I mean, Oy YAY!

Details:   Mile End is SMALL and gets crowded quickly. It’s also closed from 4pm-5:30 every day, presumably to change over from the breakfast to dinner format. I often joke to my son that his super-anal Step-Granpa could be abducted by terrorists, tied in heavy chains and tossed into the East River and he’d still somehow make it to his impending appointment 10 minutes early. Step-Gramps had us standing in front of the place at 5:10 sharp and it worked out pretty good, with us lined up for 15 minutes or so before being among the first to be seated.  Bring someone punctual and anal, it works out well in this case!

Fried Twinkies and Beer: Atlantic Chipshop Review, Cobble Hill

Parking in Cobble Hill is a BITCH.

Mind you, that’s coming from a man who can SMELL some youthful yuppie with perfect hair just start THINKING about looking for his car keys so he can pop outside, saunter over to his beige (eh?) Volvo and gently edge it out into the day, with SuperDuperDad, KING of the blood sport that is New York Parking lurking mere inches behind him, waiting to snatch his prey out of the jaws of defeat, aka an irritable soccer mom who somehow thinks she’s more deserving of the space that I rightfully earned from years of honing my mental powers into an almost Jedi-like ability to sense a spot that is about to be vacated.

Uh, anyway, after securing the prize (it was actually a black dude with short, neat dreads pulling out in some sort of baby SUV- apologies from my stereotyping imagination to you, Cob Hill) we popped into the catchily-named UA Court Street Stadium 12 to check out the new Thor movie.

WOW. Maybe it’s because we don’t have television but SuperDuperKid and I were simply dazzled by the trailers leading up to the main feature. Green Lantern and the new X-Men looked cool as hell but even those paled in comparison to the thrill-inducing, action-packed trailer for Immortals, coming 11/11/2011. On the big screen, it was dripping with awe-inducing battle clips and feats of wonder. SDK and I shall be waiting in line with baited breath on opening day, no doubt.

Thor itself was pretty OK, too. Unsurprisingly, it devolved into formulaic tripe but not before delivering some percolating action scenes and tasty visuals.

We stopped at one of the small parks off Henry St. on our way back to the car.

Interestingly, SDK didn’t seem to gel with his Cobble Hill brethren. Was there a snootiness, a glossier sheen, a lack of the rough-hewn edges of WIlliamsburg kids to which he couldn’t relate? Or maybe, like my parking-related rant at the intro, I was displacing some of my own stereotypes? Maybe he just wasn’t in the mood.

He WAS suddenly hungry out of nowhere, however, in the way only a kid can be.

I’d spotted the Atlantic Chipshop on our walk back and thought it sounded perfect.

I was right!

Cor Blimey that's good!

Besides your classic British fish n’ chips, (or fries, as we Yanks call them), this Ol’ Blighty-themed pub/restaurant has a kids menu featuring mac n’ cheese and chicken fingers. The adult fare is equally decadent. With a large selection of beers on tap amidst the deep-fried fish or (gasp) pizza, this is not the place for us namby-pamby health conscious eaters, no sir-ee-BOB.

But where the AC really hits its stride (and starts to pummel your heart and arteries) is with their indulgent desserts. Fried Mars Bars, Snickers and ANYTHING else you can drag in join the mouth-watering fried Twinkie we had from the must-try dessert menu.

Yes, you bring it in, the Atlantic Chipshop will fry it, hence the rowdy bunch behind us with a shopping bag overflowing with Oreos.

The Brit-styled rock theme adds curious fun with SDK wondering aloud who the Stiff Little Fingers were and the both of us musing over classic photos of the Beatles and the Who.

A great place for kids and adults alike, go to the Atlantic Chipshop and you’ll end up “sorted, mate” as da Yoof of the UK used to say, although that of course was drug parlance and may not go over well in the context of Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. As a former London dweller, however, I can assure you it went over fine in the mean streets of South Tottenham and Walthamstow.

You too can get sorted at the Atlantic Chipshop, mate. Just try and have a brisk jog home punctuated with thirty-forty minutes of pick up soccer afterwords. It’s the right thing to do.

Official SuperDuperDad Yay or Nay Verdict:  YAY,  as long as you eat healthily the next day, fatso!

Details:  As stated, be aware that parking can be challenging. Also, for extra fun bring something crazy of your own to have fried!

The Atlantic Chipshop

129 Atlantic Ave

(between Clinton St & Henry St)

Brooklyn, NY 11201

Neighborhoods: Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Heights

(718) 855-7774

www.chipshopnyc.com

Hours:

Mon-Thu 11:30 am – 12 am

Fri 11:30 am – 2 am

Sat 11 am – 2 am

Sun 11 am – 12 am

Good for Groups: Yes

Accepts Credit Cards: Yes

Parking: Street

Attire: Casual

Wheelchair accessible with full bar!

Smorgasbord in Smorgasburg + East River State Park review

A foodies’ paradise…

 

*August 2013 Update*

Smorgasburg has grown exponentially since this review. It’s a pretty awesome food-related experience. GO!

 

It was Saturday afternoon in Brooklyn, NY and so came another triumph for the Mutant Gorillas, my son’s youth league soccer team. They are undefeated so far this year, a tad bittersweet for me since when SuperDuperDad was coach last season we were ummm… what’s the opposite of undefeated?

Eh, anyway, after his game we decided to follow his grandmother and step-granpa’s NY Times procured-advice and visit the newly opened Smorgasburg, a giant outdoor greenmarket/gourmet food emporium happening every Saturday in Williamsburg, down by that industrial graveyard-cum-condoville/park sprawl by the water. They had come all the way from the Upper East Side to see his game, so we wanted to be accommodating.

Not too many surprises here. In gentrified Brooklyn, top notch morsels are par for the course. Vietnamese crepes, organic grilled-cheeses, whole grain mustards, world famous gazpacho, hand-pulled mozzarella and even Harvard-educated organic lobsters (Okay, I made up the last one)…  Jeez, I tell ya. This goddamn food has accomplished more in its short life span than I have, and it’s probably earning more too. Basically, anything edible you can dream of is here, mostly being cooked before your eyes in the rows and rows of dainty lil’ stalls that the vendors occupy. And it’s all done with the skill and sophistication that one expects in NYC.

SuperDuperKid’s grilled-cheese sandwich from the good people at Milk Truck was a bit too “uptown for the tots” as Sideshow Bob once famously declared on the Simpsons, with the complex blend of cheeses leaving his simplistic taste buds overwhelmed. The vanilla milkshake, however, was obliterated in seconds as we sat on a bench in the sprawling promenade, admiring the gleaming, new condos and dreaming of a day when we could afford one.

My mom asked SDK about his mother being pregnant…

How was it going? Was he excited?

Now I was not here for this but she claims he seemed uncomfortable with the subject. “Something,” she said, leaning forward and taking on her Tone of Great Importance, “is bothering him about it.”

I shall leave my in depth look at some of these issues until later for my soon to be launched “personal” category on SuperDuperDad.com, but suffice it to say there’s always some drama going on with the Baby Mama, whom I am no longer with. We left in agreement that the concept of his mother’s pregnancy needed to be brought up with him again soon in the future and discussed more openly.

East River Park’ll make ya… Jump! Jump!

It was too nice a day for such dealings and we decided to hoof it a few blocks over to East River State Park. Oddly barren, but with a beautiful view of the water and some refreshingly unique playground fixtures, it’s definitely worth a visit.

There’s a giant two-kid see-saw styled rope hang that the lil’ ones find simply fascinating plus some interesting bouncy spring-boards and choo-choo train contraptions good for playing tag on. Info-boards line the walk to the water so one can learn about the area’s intriguing industrial history. In place of boat and train shipments with coal and other minerals, we now have kids, condos and bearded bicyclists of all shapes and sizes. And so time marches on for Brooklyn.

Official SuperDuperDad Yay or Nay Verdict:  Eh, I could go either way, honestly. If you’re a foodie, you’ll be in friggin’ paradise. Park is fun but don’t sell your kidney to get there or anything.

Details:  C’mon… I can’t do ALL the work for ya! But YES for those asking it’s not too difficult to park outside along Kent Ave. Parking smack dab on N8th st. is a bit more challenging but Kent is close enough anyhow. It’s also about a 15 minute walk from the Bedford L stop.

Tears & Emasculation: Shape Up NYC Review

James Dean, The Fonz, Johnny Depp, Jay-Z…

I don’t care who you are.

There’s not one male icon of cool, living or dead, who can look like anything but a boob while prancing around in one of those aerobic, girlie jump-about exercise programs.

Nevertheless, I decided to try something different (the opportunity to run into some athletic young Williamsburg ladies being no small factor) and headed down to the Metropolitan Recreation Center for one of the free Shape Up NYC classes that the city is sponsoring.

Minutes later, a large group of us were standing in stunned shock in front of “Dyan,” our pretty, charismatic instructor, as tears poured down her cheeks.

“I cry a lot,” she had warned before diving into a heartfelt soliloquy about the challenges in her life and how she refused to settle any longer. “I just can’t do this anymore!” she implored, reenacting a discussion she’d had with her boss earlier in the week.

As a modern urban hetero male I was of course torn between being horrified and driven to uncontrollable laughter. I looked around at the sea of empathetic women, their big eyes welling up with tears of understanding (there were two other men in the class besides me- One who smiled adoringly in my direction and the other, the token black dude who watched impassively.) Was I the only one who found this to be reminiscent of a hilarious scene from a Woody Allen film?

Soon, though, Diane was imploring us to “shake it all out,” and know that we were strong and bellowing loudly that nothing could stop us, and we could do this, and we were worth it, and so forth.

“I can do it, I WILL do it… I”M HAPPY WITH MY LIFE!”

Rhyming exhortations were parroted back in rhythm from the bobbing, lurching class, in a military style, as our tireless leader barreled on only semi-audibly over the blaring techno-dance soundtrack about overcoming struggles and battling the hardships of (presumably) being a young woman in New York City.

YOU can DO IT!

It was great fun. I found it particularly relevant as I was just beginning to deal with a new set of issues regarding my return to the music biz and I really wasn’t sure I could pull off what I needed to. Plus, I’ve always been a fan of all that “positivity” schtick so integrating it with movement and exercise made perfect sense.

By the end of the workout I was surprised to find myself dripping with sweat. The lunges, swivels and dance moves didn’t feel so strenuous on their own, but the overall program definitely seemed to pack a punch.

And at free hundred dollars, it’s a pretty sweet deal. In a related aside, the Metropolitan Rec Center’s membership is a paltry $75 for an entire year of swimming and indoor gym use, among other perks ($50 without pool.)
It’s unbeatable in New York City. But regardless, the Shape Up NYC Programs are completely free ane one needn’t be a member of the facility hosting it to take part. Hunt down the program nearest you and try something different today. You’re strong, worth it, and you can DO IT!

Official SuperDuperDad Yay or Nay Verdict: YAY! YAY! YAY! YAY!

Details: Check link above but details are scarce: It’s fun and free is all you need to know.

NYC, go to the Doctor! Beth Israel Pediatrics review

People who liken The Waiting Room to Hell have clearly not been trapped in a Chilean mine, never had a bullet removed from their abdomen with just a rag to bite into for pain relief and never had to sit through a discussion about commitment with my son’s mother.

And sure,  waiting is not all that fun…

But, well, some things in life are worth waiting for.

Wait, scratch that. Good things come to those who wait. Ehhhhh…

What I mean to say is, basically, that substantive, meaningful action takes time. And life often consists of deciding what we’re willing to trade for our time and effort, what this time and effort is REALLY worth.

Could this be what Hell looks like?

Is there anything more valuable than the health of our little bundles of life itself, the very living, breathing reasons we drag ourselves out of blissful slumber each day back into war with exhaustion, greedy and stupid landlords, heartless, soulless bueracrats, and (lately, especially) relentless, merciless armies of pollen?

No, of course there is nothing more valuable.

But Sweet Jesus on a mother-loving popsicle stick will the waiting room at Beth Israel Pediatric Associates test your mettle.

First of all, it is a pediatric waiting room so of course it’s pretty much required by law that there be at least 2-3 toddlers screaming bloody murder as their oblivious parents stare into their ubiquitous little screens. And secondly, it is a medical center so nothing is ever on time (totally understandable, I’d say- we’re dealing with human beings here!) And third, well… that says enough, really.

After skimming over the online reviews of the place I still don’t think that to wait for something so damned important is all that bad.

Some toddler-screeching and time-killing is no sweat in exchange for medical attention that feels warm, thoughtful, attentive and perhaps most importantly, skilled.

Over the years I’ve seen quite a variety of doctors here (Dr. Brescia, Dr. Marcantonio and most recently Dr. Guha all after our original MD, Dr. Neuspiel took leave) and I’ve never been disappointed. Each was painstaking and personable and made me feel like my son was getting the best treatment possible.

My years of experience with Beth Israel makes me take pause at some of the mixed reviews it has garnered online. The patient demographic is indeed erm… mottled. With a mom spectrum of gum-chomping Latinas dressed like Lady Gaga perched next to Dolce Gabbana-pursed UWS blondes tapping away at their iPhones, it is indeed heavy with some gully-ass folks sporting crappy-ass manners. In short, they lack patience and understanding where it is clearly required.

True, it gets fairly crowded but just this week I was able to call at 8:30 AM on a Monday and get an appointment the same day when SuperDuperKid was suffering from catastrophic allergy attacks. (The prescriptions Dr. Guha sent us away with led to our first peaceful night of sleep in almost a week, thank Bejeezus.)

Yes, on this subject you can certainly trust SuperDuperDad’s estimation over the din of winging crybabies on the world wide whine-a-thon. Year after year, Beth Israel Pediatrics has provided my little family with superb medical treatment. Now you can get the same. Just bring a hefty book and a good bit of patience.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Official SuperDuperDad Yay or Nay Verdict: YAY! (Though I of course avoid going at all cost.)

Details:  Obviously one should always call ahead as far as possible and it’s also good to get there earlier than your appointment. See below for more.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Beth Israel Pediatric Associates10 Union Square East
Suites 2J and 2H
New York, NY 10003
212.844.8300
Mon, Wed, Fri 8am-5pm; Tue, Thu 8am-8pm; Sat 9am-5pm

Specialty: General pediatrics, newborn-adolescent

Practice structure: Group practice

Dr. Andrea Brescia 212.844.8316

Dr. Anita Guha 212.844.8322

Dr. Niloufar Gidfar 212.844.8315

Dr. Robin Jacobson 212.844.8337

Dr. Camille Senzamici 212.844.8308

Hospital affiliation: Beth Israel Medical Center

Insurance Companies: ABC, Aetna-US Healthcare, Allied, America’s, AmeriHealth, Anthem, Beech Street, Bronx Health Plan, CenterCare, ChoiceCare, Cigna, Empire, 1199, First Health, Galaxy, GHI, HealthFirst, HIP, Horizon, MagnaCare, MCI, MediChoice, Medicaid, MultiPlan, One Health Plan, Oxford, PHCS, PHS, Questmore, SelectPro, Unicare/Qualcare, United

All pediatricians are board certified

Some special interests of these pediatricians include breastfeeding, international adoption, complementary medicine, and sleep and behavioral problems. Email contact with the doctors is available through the practice website.

Parents may contact any doctor above for an interview.

Note: Urgent care phone is 212.844.8330



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